Dortmund chief plays down Lewandowski exit talk

General manager Hans-Joachim Watzke insists that the sought-after Pole striker may yet stay at BVB, while the striker himself refused to be drawn on die Roten rumours

Borussia Dortmund general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke has played down talk of Robert Lewandowski leaving in the summer and hinted he may yet stay at the Bundesliga club.

Manchester United had been strongly linked with the Poland international in 2012, but Bayern Munich have recently emerged as contenders to sign the striker according to reports in early February.

Watzke seemed calm on chatter of BVB’s sought-after forward leaving Signal Iduna Park, and insisted that no transfer queries have been forthcoming from other clubs regarding Lewandowski.

“There are no enquiries,” he told ZDF. “However, I’m aware of the interest in the player, which is normal [considering his quality]. We’re in a good situation and we’re not forced to sell players.

“When the offers come, we will talk to Robert, but there’s a good chance he decides to stay with us. We are playing Champions League and have a good chance to qualify again for next season, I just don’t see the necessity to let go any players.”

Dortmund drew 2-2 at Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday night with Lewandowski the scorer of the first goal for the visitors and, after giving his thoughts on the result, he refused to be drawn on the Bayern transfer rumours.

He said: “It’s tough to say how valuable this draw is, the second leg will show that and I hope we can proceed to the next round.

“For now I’m still a Borussia Dortmund player and even though I’m banned at the moment, I hope to be back for the cup game versus Bayern.”

Former Bayern star Lothar Matthaus had claimed that the striker will join the Bavarians in the summer, but Lewandowski dismissed his words, adding: “I didn’t talk to Matthaus, I have no clue [where he got this information].”

West Brom need 'world-beater' Odemwingie back, insists Foster

The Nigeria international failed in his attempts to force through a deadline day move to QPR, but the Baggies’ goalkeeper and Gareth McAuley insists they will welcome him back

West Brom duo Ben Foster and Gareth McAuley insist Peter Odemwingie will be welcomed back into the Baggies side after his failed attempt to force a move to QPR.

The Nigeria international showed up at Loftus Road unannounced, despite no deal being agreed between the sides, and last week found himself banished from training by Steve Clarke as a result.

But with Odemwingie closing in on a return to action, Foster has revealed he is delighted to have the attacker back and hopes he can contribute to the side between now and the end of the season.

He told the club’s official website: “The lads realise that if Pete is on the pitch, playing well and scoring goals, everyone benefits from it.

“That’s how we’re looking at it. Everything is fine. The line has been drawn and now we’re back talking about football.

“Peter is an important part of our team. When he’s on form he’s an absolute world-beater, so we will welcome him back into the squad with no qualms whatsoever.

“And I’m sure he will join in and give 110 per cent like he always does. What happened was really unfortunate.

“I don’t think anybody expected to see what they saw but we’ve moved on from it now and I don’t think anybody even talks about it.

“Peter is back in training, doing what he always does, and hopefully he will start to get more involved and things will be back to normal.”

McAuley echoed Foster’s words and believes the Baggies need Odemwwingie back as they look to reignite their charge at the top six.

“Once you get on the pitch you forget about other things,” he added.

“But it’s been well-documented and it was just important that we got back on the pitch and people started talking about things other than what was happening off the pitch.
“We need Pete. We need him back on the pitch, playing and scoring goals for us. He’s had a few days off while things were going on so he only trained really for one day last week and he needs to get training again.

“He will get training again now and hopefully soon he’ll be involved in the games and scoring goals for us again.”

Extra Time: Yulu-Matondo reduced to a day-tripper as he fails Bury trial

The former Belgium Under-21 international can count a Champions League goal against Juventus among his achievements, but couldn’t impress Shakers boss Kevin Blackwell

It is a fact of life that footballers often fall on hard times and have to try and rebuild their careers in the lower leagues.

As a former Belgium Under-21 international, who has played in Champions League ties against Bayern Munich and Juventus, Jeanvion Yulu-Matondo probably thought he was guaranteed a new deal when he joined Bury on a three-week trial this week.

However, things didn’t quite go to plan when Yulu-Matondo made his bow for the Shakers’ reserve side against Bolton on Monday and he has been sent packing by Kevin Blackwell – just a day after his arrival.

Blackwell told Bury’s official website: “Yulu was a free agent; he was out of contract and had shown a little bit in training. 

“I signed him on non-contract terms with a view to looking at him in the reserves against Bolton.

“If he had shown something in that game, I might have been able to throw him on the bench – he’s on the next flight to Brussels.”

Laudrup set to discuss new Swansea deal, claims agent

The Dane’s current deal runs until the end of the 2013-14 season, and Swans chairman Huw Jenkins has recently expressed his confidence that the 48-year-old will pen new terms

Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup is set to begin talks over a new contract with the Premier League, according to his agent.

The Dane’s current deal runs until the end of the 2013-14 season, and Swans chairman Huw Jenkins has expressed his confidence that the 48-year-old will ignore speculation linking him with a possible move to Chelsea or former club Real Madrid to extend his stay.

Laudrup has guided the Welsh club to an impressive seventh-place standing and a first-ever Capital One Cup final since replacing Brendan Rodgers in June.

The manager insisted last week that he was in no rush to enter talks over his contract, insisting “the present is more important than the future” – but his representative, Bayram Tutumlu, has confirmed that Swansea are hoping to extend his current terms.

Tutumlu told Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet: “Yes, Swansea has a strong interest in extending Michael Laudrup’s contract.

“In the coming days, we will meet with Swansea and discuss the possibility of an extension.”

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